Tattered Slippers: The Midnight Show.

Two posts in one week, That’s weird for me. The reason is that I’m still participating in the Tattered Slippers blog tour. To day is the Release day for: The Midnight Show.

For the Midnight show I’m hosting a guest post by Author Sarah Pennington. Well It’s actually by her character Dayo Temitrope.

A Day in the Life of Dayo Temitrope

Hello, Cathrine and readers of Cobonham! Thanks for having me here! I’m excited to share a little something about The Midnight Show with you, but I wanted to do something a little different from the usual guest post. So, instead of me talking, I’m handing the mic over to Dayo Temitrope, swing singer and one of the stars of the novel, so she can share a little about her life. Take it away, Dayo!

A day in my life? Well, there’s not much to tell — the life of a singer isn’t half as glamorous as some people think. Not at my level, anyway. Now, if you talked to someone like one of the Kariukus —

Oh. What’s that? You want me to include the odd bits? That’s a bit more personal than these news pieces usually go, isn’t it? But you said this won’t be distributed in Innsjøby, so . . . I suppose it’s all right. But the last thing I need on my hands right now is a scandal.

So, then. My days lately — for the last six months, actually — usually start out with me waking up with sore feet and worn-out dancing shoes and no explanation for either. It’s gone on so long that it’s moved past concerning and into tiresome. And expensive. Not that I mind an excuse to go shoe-shopping more often, but when you have to do it every week for months, it loses its charm, you know?

Anyway. Wake-up, then the usual morning routine: make-up, outfit, breakfast. Most days, that’s just fruit and toast. I like to keep things quiet in the mornings; it helps balance out my evenings. That’s when everything exciting really happens. More exciting things than even I really know about, you could say.

Photo by Gustavo Fring on Pexels.com

After breakfast, I’ll either work on writing my next song or I’ll go out and do my shopping for the next day or two. Oh, what, you didn’t think one of the best up-and-coming stars of the swing stage would do her own shopping? Well, some might not, but I don’t need more people hanging about my life when I’m off-stage, you know? Besides, there are some lovely little shops just a few blocks away from my house, within walking distance even on a bad day. There’s even a little market there that’s just the berries — I’ve gotten strawberries and mangos in midwinter from some of the stalls, and not the horrible hothouse ones. Well, of course, that means they’re grown by fair-born folk. But they’re safe as anything grown by humans, whatever people say, and it’s hardly those people’s fault they had a fae for a parent.

Where was I? Oh. Yes. After shopping or songwriting and then lunch, I’m off again to practice with my band for the evening’s performance. I have a rotation of three clubs I play: the Carousel Club, the Ologba Po, and the Nordstjernen. The Ologba Po’s my favorite, even if the Carousel Club is swankier. Everyone’s friendly there, and on good nights, the audience sings along. It really makes a girl feel appreciated.

Anyway, practice runs right up to performance time more days than not, with just enough time for the band and me to get a bit of a rest and change into stage clothes. Sure, that’s tiring, especially on bad days — sometimes, by the time my show starts, my feet hurt so much it’s a struggle to keep the stage smile up. But I manage. And I don’t have time to dwell on how tired I am until after my first set ends. And I always stipulate free drinks and snacks in my contracts, so then I have a delicious distraction. That’s another reason I love the Ologba — their cordials are to die for. If you’re ever in town, you ought to go by and try them.

I do two or three sets most nights, depending on the club and the day and what my employers want. By the end of the night, I’m usually too tired to do much more than fall into bed. After that — well, I don’t know what happens. I must have some sort of blowout, or something, to wear out my shoes and my feet by morning. But I sure as anything don’t know what it is. I suppose I’ll find out soon; that’s why I told my manager to find a P.I. to look into things. I just hope he can figure out what’s really happening.

This mystery is the case of his dreams — and her nightmares.

By day, Dayo Temitrope is a swinging singer, an up-and-coming star with a shining career ahead of her. By night, she’s . . . well, she’s not sure, but whatever she does leaves her every morning with sore feet and worn-out shoes. And after six months, she’s had enough.

Enter Bastian Dennell, a private investigator just trying to get by. When Dayo hires him to find out where she goes at night, he’s sure it’s his big break: his chance to establish himself and get the funds to pay off his family’s debt. Plus, he gets to work with his favorite singer, even if she isn’t exactly what he expected. What could be better?

But first he has to solve the case — which means navigating a tangled web of strange dreams, fair folk schemes, and show business. It will take all Bastian’s wits, along with the shining talents of Dayo herself, to figure out the truth before the curtains close for good on Dayo’s career.

A jazz-age-inspired twist on the Twelve Dancing Princesses from the author of Blood in the Snow.

Purchase Link: https://www.amazon.com/Midnight-Show-Sarah-Pennington-ebook/dp/B08B1RV653/

Add Book on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/b…/show/53954978-the-midnight-show

About the Author:

Sarah Pennington has been writing stories since before she actually knew how to write, and she has no intention of stopping anytime soon. She is perpetually in the middle of writing at least one or two novels, most of which are in the fantasy and fairy tale retelling genres. Sarah’s first published work, Blood in the Snow, received a perfect score and Special Unicorn status in Rooglewood Press’s Five Poisoned Apples contest. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys knitting, photography, and trying to conquer her massive to-be-read list.
Find her online at: Website || Blog || Second Blog || Goodreads || Facebook || Amazon 

Today’s is the last day for the # challenge so don’t forget to share those awesome hats.

Tattered slippers blog tour: The Dancing Princess

Tattered Slippers Release Tour:

What are the Tattered Slippers?

The Tattered Slippers are six retellings of The Twelve Dancing Princesses by six different authors, each one fantastic and magical. You don’t want to miss any of them!

To view the complete tour schedual please click here: https://kendrasgiraffecrafts.blogspot.com/p/tattered-slippers-blog-tour.html

Today is release day for the first Tattered Slippers book, The Dancing Princess. I was honored to read an advanced copy of this short novella so that I could provide you with an honest review today.

The Dancing princess is the fifth and final story in the Twist of Adventure fairytale retelling series. Even though it’s last, each story is 100% stand alone and they can be read in any order.

A Twist of Adventure #5: Plagued by nightmares for the last few years, Katrine only wanted answers. Instead, she finds herself trapped in a tangled web of melody as she tries to free a cursed king and his brothers. No one deserves existence such as theirs, but dare she risk her very life?

Purchace Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08B8Z6CLW/

Add Book on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/50512612-the-dancing-princess?fbclid=IwAR2guIU0BhK3Pd3G2puVNhxbFnabQHGXNp1f_rl90gg_f5E9LJjuhDe7nKk

Author Bio:

Kendra E. Ardnek is the self-proclaimed Arista of Fairy Tales. She lives in the Piney Woods of East Texas with her dragon babies and massive herd of mini-giraffes, and she is still waiting for one of of her fifty nutcrackers to come to life and marry her. When not writing, you can usually find her sitting in a random box, and she’s frequently known to act before she thinks.

Find her online at: Website || Blog || Goodreads || Facebook || Twitter || YouTube || Newsletter || Instagram || TikTok || Amazon

If you are participating in the Tattered Slippers # challenge on instagram, don’t forget to post your Musical book pick for today’s entry.

Dive in Review, The Dancing Princess:

I really enjoyed this short re-imagining of the twelve dancing princesses. This time around it’s one princess trying to save 12 princes. But like the rest of her “Twist of” series, this is not a straight gender swap. This story draws in Russian folk tale Baba Yaga, and includes a Beauty and the Beast vibe as well.

This short story also features an original magic system that I found interesting and compelling. I would be interested to see what this song master and her song warriors can do if given a full length novel.

Katrine was a great protagonist. She took everything in stride and even at the end she was prepared to make the hard choice. Oddly enough it only seemed to be hard for her, I would have done it with no reservations.

I was given an ARC of this story as part of the Tattered slippers tour so that I may provide an honest review. The above review is my own honest opinion and is honestly and willingly given.

One Bad Apple Dive in Review.

Hello, it’s been a while. Well that’s not for lack of things to read. Since I last shared, I’ve attended a virtual writers conference, and I’ve become an isolated agoraphobe who refuses to leave the house, (but who hasn’t, am I right?).

But now it’s is my great pleasure to tell you about a book that I thoroughly enjoyed recently. In fact it releases tomorrow.

As a reader of this blog it shouldn’t surprise you that I enjoy fairy tale retellings. Well this next book is Fairy tales with a major setting shift. So much so that they are better called re-imaginaings instead of re-tellings.

The once upon a Western series, by Rachel Kovaciny, takes beloved fairy tales and reworks them into the real life setting of the historical American West. Her newest and third installment is based on Snow White.

About the book:

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs… reimagined.

When a wagon train of Black pioneers rescues the seven orphaned Dalton cousins from the side of the trail, it seems like an answer to their prayers. As they roll west toward Kansas, fourteen-year-old Levi Dalton is dazzled by the beautiful Mrs. Mallone. She’s a healer, and her knowledge of medicines and herbs inspires Levi to want to become a doctor. Maybe then he can stop people from dying of fevers and illnesses like his folks did.

But Mrs. Mallone’s stepdaughter, Hopeful, warns Levi not to become too attached to the healer. Levi dismisses her warnings and his own misgivings until the day he sees something dreadful.

Levi knows he needs to tell someone what he’s seen before it’s too late. But will anyone believe the story of a fourteen-year-old orphan? Will anyone stand up to evil, no matter how beautifully it’s packaged?

About the author:

Born only a few miles from where Jesse James robbed his first train, Rachel Kovaciny has loved the Old West all her life. She now lives in Virginia with her husband and their three homeschooled children. In her free time, Rachel writes for the magazines “Femnista” and “Prairie Times,” reads, bakes, blogs, watches movies, and daydreams.

Her book “Cloaked” was a 2018 Peacemaker Awards finalist for Best Western YA/Children’s Fiction. 

Photo by Engin Akyurt on Pexels.com

My Dive in Review:

One Bad Apple by Rachel Kovaciny is the third book in her Once upon a western series. I have not read the first two books in this series so believe me when I say that this episode stands on it’s own 100%. You do not have to read the first two books to enjoy this one.

I was so enthralled by this story. I was like constantly guessing how the Snow White story was going to intertwine with the real world non magical setting. But let’s ignore the fairytale aspect and look at the historical part of it for a bit.

I could tell that a lot of research went into this novel. Nothing sounds modern or out of place for a post civil war wagon train. The wagon train itself is well described and the people feel real, or at least they feel like people you would see on a western. I did think it was weird that a caravan would leave behind so many children to fend for themselves. Yes the parents were sick, but having that many young children to worry over and care for, certainly wasn’t going to get them any better. That’s my only, nitpick. It did, however, give the story a boxcar children vibe which is a book I loved and think fondly of.

The fairy tale aspect was also well done. The tale of Snow White was adapted to fit the western theme rather than being stripped of it’s wonder and shoehorned into a new setting. Everything was a fresh take. Not, Snow White and the seven orphans. Rather the seven Orphans and the preacher’s daughter. It worked as a retelling, but it also works as it’s own thing and is all the better for it.

*I was given an e-ARC of this novel for review purposes. I was not obligated to reed or review this book, but I did because that’s just good manners. My opinion is my own honest one.*

You can pre-order the ebook for $2.99 and get it auto delivered to you device tomorrow. Or the paperback edition is already live so for all you page lovers you can add that to your cart now.

Dive In Review: Midnight for a Curse.

I love Beauty and the Beast. But so many fairy tale retellings are all the same. So when I find one that really stands out and brings a new layer to the familiar tale, I have to tell people about it. Check out this review of Kill the Beast.

Today I’m highlighting the new book Midnight for a Curse by E.J. Kitchens, I found it original and funny And I’m sure you’re going to like it too.

A Curse Keeper, Curse Breaker Fairytale: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08777SVDV


Every Curse Must Have an End

Belinda Lambton knows a curse when she sees one. She also knows the wisdom of agreeing with a powerful enchantress. So when she inadvertently gets mixed up with a cursed Beast and his enchantress, she finds herself tasked with the role of Curse Breaker. That’s not an easy position, for Beast has reasons of his own to keep his curse. There’s also someone else determined to break it by whatever means possible and claim Beast for herself, and she doesn’t take competition well.
With wit, clean romance, and a touch of danger, Midnight for a Curse is a retelling of the beloved Beauty and the Beast tale.

Once upon a time there was a beast who loved nothing better than to sit i a comfortable chair in a sunny spot in his library and read. —Midnight for a Curse E.J. Kitchens.

My Dive in reveiw.

Midnight for a cure is not your ordinary Beauty and the Beast retelling. In this version the beauty, Belinda Lambton, is not trying to save her father. Rather she is actively running from an unwanted suitor. And she runs right into the Castle of an enchanted Beast.

I loved Belinda so much she is a crafty and sneaky protagonist. Who is not afraid to use Beast’s curse to her own advantage. Like getting her hearts desire from the desperate fairy godmother who needs this curse broken — yesterday.

The Beast of this story is not a monster. He just wants to be left alone so he can read his books in peace. A man, um . . .beast, after my own heart. He is also sneaky and wise to the ways of crafty village girls. He doesn’t want his old life back and will try any subterfuge necessary to get the beautiful interloper to leave.

Watching these two play off each other and try to one up each other is my kind of romance. None of this going to balls and pleasantries. Give me a good matching of wits any day.

The best scene is where Belinda confronts Beast about the excessive number of sweets she’s being fed.

The actual mechanics of the curse were so original while still hearkening back to the original french version of the tale. This is a great retelling of a classic tale for those who want to go deeper than the Disney version.

The number one on the cover carries promises of a series. I certainly look forward to more adventures with these characters.

I was the recipient of an advanced reader copy of this novel. All opinions are my own and are given honestly.

Buy it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08777SVDV

About E.J. Kitchens
E.J. Kitchens loves tales of romance, adventure, and happily-ever-afters and strives to write such tales herself. When she’s not thinking about dashing heroes or how awesome bacteria are–she is a microbiologist after all–she’s probably photographing flowers, walking in the woods, or talking about classic books and black-and-white movies. Elizabeth is a member of Realm Makers and blogs at Lands Uncharted. She lives in Alabama.

If you’d like up-to-date news on her writing, visit her website and sign up for her newsletter.
https://www.elizabethjanekitchens.com/

If you want more Beauty and the Beast fun from E.J. Kitchens check out The Rose and the Wand. It’s a B&B retelling from the enchantresses point of view. It’s also now available in audio-book and the narrator has the most amazing English accent.

Rose and Wand blurb:
When prim and proper enchantress Lady Alexandria attempts to bewitch a magic mirror, she ends up cursed -powerless, penniless, dumped in a strange land, and stuck in the body of an old hag. As if that weren’t bad enough, the mirror gives her two tasks: Curse the prince whose arrogant cruelty she once ignored and find her way home – before the Magic Collectors find her and strip her of her powers forever and before the mysterious woodsman who finds her lost in the forest discovers who she really is. The prince she cursed must learn to love before an enchanted rose dies or he will remain a beast forever. Will her fate also be sealed when the last petal falls?

Buy it here: https://www.amazon.com/Rose-Wand-Magic-Collectors-Book/dp/B088ZXV9GG/ref=tmm_aud_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

Tour of Ever After: an anthology review.

tOUR EA

Hello, today I have an another amazing anthology for you from the Fellowship of Fantasy.

Book Description:

36427032_2003913979653615_2197345443757686784_nRescue a princess, meet a mermaid, win your reward.

 The authors of the Fellowship of Fantasy tackle fairy tales from once upon a time to happily ever after. Explore twists on old tales and brand new magical stories. Meet feisty mermaids, friendly lampposts, and heroes who just might be monsters themselves.

 This fourth anthology from the Fellowship of Fantasy will lead you on a quest for entertainment and storm the castle of your imagination. So make a wish and enter the deep dark woods to find stories that will make you laugh, shiver, and maybe even fall in love.

 The best part is it’s free to download! (Paperback will cost you though.)

Amazon Purchase Link: https://www.amazon.com/Tales-Ever-After-Fellowship-Anthology-ebook/dp/B07FFMHM8M/

Books2Read Universal Link: https://www.books2read.com/u/bwYKry

Goodreads Listing: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40788623-tales-of-ever-after

The fellowship is also hosting: a Rafflecopter giveaway U.S. Only: (All books are paperbacks, and possibly signed.)

If you are not U.S. that’s okay there’s an International: a Rafflecopter giveaway (All books are ebooks of the winner’s file format of choice)

Now on to my review. I am not sure why I  agreed to review the whole collection. The stories are so short that you can’t really delve into them without spoiling it. But in keeping with my brand of turning your gears, I will provide the full list of stories with their description and why I think it will turn your gears.

Tales of Ever After Author Graphic

 *Story descriptions were written by the author of each story.*

 Cinders by Kendra E. Ardnek

When the fairy Jalia receives a plea for her aid, it seems a routine Cinderella rescue – until she only finds the family’s pet cats.

 Why it turned my Gears: The Cinderella mythos has been done to death. I thought it was impossible to produce an original Cinderella story, I was so wrong. Cinders will take your expectations and turn them on their head. Wonderfully original plot combined with lovable and witty characters.

 At The Corner of Elm & Main by H. L. Burke

A sweet-natured lamppost dreams of seeing the world. When magic grants his wish, how will he use it? 

Why it turned my Gears: An original tale about an ordinary everyday object that is granted mobility for one night. This doesn’t turn the thinking gear so much as the feeling gears. It has a heart touching ending with a satisfying payoff.

 Tears of the Sea by Savannah Jezowski

When Le Rae indulges her fascination with the forbidden sand walkers, she discovers more than danger in the shallow waters.

 Why it turned my Gears: An original tale reminiscent of The Little Mermaid, but the best part is that it isn’t a romance. It makes you think, simultainiously about being willing to open your mind to new ideas and people who are different from you, while also learning to be content with where you’re at and what you have. At least that was my take away.

 Steelhand by Ashley Capes

When a man with a mechanical hand hears a woman’s ethereal voice calling for help, he must brave the steel forest to rescue her from a foul Alchemist.

 Why it turned my Gears: Steam Punk Sleeping Beauty need I say more? Okay a little bit more. In the story the hero is told to take three random objects with him on his quest: a lemon, a tin soldier and an Axe. You’re never going to figure out how they get used. Very cool plot elements bring originality to a familiar favorite.

 King or Beggar by D. G. Driver

When a king’s spoiled, conceited daughter refuses and insults every nobleman asking for her hand in marriage, he stops giving her a choice.

 Why it turned my Gears: This is a retelling of a little known fairy tale called King Thrushbeard. As a child, the dollar store had fairytale VHS tapes. The one I watched to death was King Thrushbeard. Why I loved it I really can’t say. It might have had something to do with me figuring out the twist and being delighted that I was right. Thank you D. G. Driver for bringing this pleasant childhood memory back to life.

 The Girl Who Talked by Birds by Kristen S. Walker

A young girl’s already isolated existence is worsened by the emergence of strange abilities.

 Why it turned my Gears: Wonderful original tale about an ordinary girl who discovers she is special. Really cool human and bird interactions. I love that the birds are still very bird like and aren’t personified too much. I also enjoyed that it was light hearted in tone. Anyone who likes “origin” stories should enjoy this one.

 The Princess and the Stone-Picker by Sarah Ashwood

“Those whose eyes are nearest to the ground are those who see its treasures.” A humble stone-picker’s mysterious remark sends a spoiled princess pursuing answers.

 Why it turned my Gears: The inciting phrase of this story, can be taken literally or figuratively. Either way you interpret it, this princess’s discovery is one that we can benefit from.

 Wake the Moon by Annie Louise Twitchell

Demons laugh, light fades, and Jesse must battle his own darkness to wake the sleeping girl.

 Why it turned my Gears: Wake the moon is at first glance, based on sleeping beauty, but it has some native American overtones, so I’m not sure if there is another fable at play here. Either way this short story reads like a novel in terms of character growth and the amount of nuance added to the protagonists everyday life. I mean, Jesse listens to Owl City. Okay maybe I just gave it high marks for name dropping my favorite artist.

 The Greatest Adventure by J.M. Hackman

A beautiful slave girl, hidden Fire Diamonds, and a wily dragon give Firebrand Aideen Siriol his greatest adventure yet.

 Why it turned my Gears: I love Aideen. He has spirit and drive, and the princess may be dead, but gosh darn it, he came to rescue somebody. So that’s what he does.

 Third Princess by Emily Martha Sorensen

The youngest of three always succeeds after the older two fail. But what if the older two aren’t willing to fail?

 Why it turned my Gears: Okay so to love this story you have to understand that there is a fairy tale troupe of three sisters, and the oldest two are always either too stuck up or too lazy or too independent to be the one the kingdom needs. As the oldest of three I hate this troupe. So when I saw that, Third Princess was going to turn this troupe on it’s head I was excited. Also the oldest princess in this story is totally me.

 A Week after Midnight by Alex McGilvery

The prince is so shy he needed a ball to find a wife. What will he do when she moves in?

 Why it turned my Gears: I really loved the Prince being an introvert in this story, it explains a lot about the Cinderella tale. The story is unique in this collection, in that for an anthology titled Tales of Ever After, it’s the only one that picks up after “happily ever after.”

 Being Seen by Gretchen E. K. Engel

Just because Ilmara is invisible, doesn’t mean she doesn’t exist.

 Why it turned my Gears: If I was asked to choose one story from this collection to be turned into a movie. My choice would be, Being Seen. It invokes visuals in my mind that beg to be seen (pun intended). An invisible girl who dyes her hair and skin just to be accepted, it’s a powerful message.

 The Quest for a Wide-Awake Princess by Lia London

Prince Jack needs to find a suitable princess, but he’d settle for one who’s not snoring.

 Why it turned my Gears: If it’s not sleeping princesses, it’s one’s who want to sleep but can’t. This story is the funniest of the lot. Told in the grand tradition of farce, Puns abound and the gags are over the top. I really love the ending though. It’s a good twist to this original take on the sleeping princess troupe.

 How to Hide a Prince by E.J. Kitchens

Princess Fiona is destined to save a prince, but would kissing a talking frog free a prince, or curse them both?

 Why it turned my Gears: Who is the prince? The enchanted frog, or the boy who stopped Fiona from kissing it? This is the question that kept me guessing throughout the whole story. And the answer is as satisfying as the asking.

 Believing Fairytales by Arthur Daigle

Some fairy tales are true. The dangerous ones are partly true.

 Why it turned my Gears: What a twist! I want everyone to read this anthology just for this story. This is an original story about Nestor a young man who works at an ancient shrine. And when bandits break in searching for a hidden relic Nestor warns them that they have the story all wrong. IT will make you think and feel things that you never thought you could think or feel.

 The Loathly Princess of Edimor by L. Palmer

Princess Selene always gets her desire. When she asks to escape a marriage by transforming into a swan, the witch who helps her has other plans.

 Why it turned my Gears: The last is certainly not least in this fairy tale collection. From what I can tell L. Palmer’s story is an original story, but loosely inspired by the swan princess. I could be wrong. Anyway, the story is slightly humorous, with a good witch who just can’t get people to listen to her, a young man who finds the old woman his family has taken in preferable to the princess he is engaged too, and a princess betrayed, by literally everyone. But hey she had it coming.

 Also I forgot to mention that there is a Comment Giveaway:

The person who leaves the most comments across the blog tour will receive the chance to read special sneak peaks from several of the authors’ upcoming works!

This is usually where I would post the full blog schedule, but this doesn’t really need to be any longer so if you want to go back through and leave comments on any other post you can access them all from here: Tales of Ever After Tour. 

Not sure what to comment about?

Which of the Tales of Ever After are you most excited to read?

What is your favorite Fairy Tale? Did they forget to include it in the anthology? Tell us about it.

Once upon a Princess blog tour and a FANtastic interview.

Once Upon A Princess Blog Tour

Hello dear readers,

Today I am adding even more books to your reading pile, by introducing you to an entire series at once.

The good news: all of the books are available now, so you can binge read it all without waiting for the next one to release.

The better news: The first book, Beauty’s Curse, is a free ebook on all reading platforms. Get it here: Amazon // Barnes & Noble // Kobo // Google Play // iBooks

Don’t forget to add it on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28781837-beauty-s-curse

If free is not enough to tempt you, read this blurb:

About Once Upon A Princess Saga

“I have better things to do.” 
“Like what?” Rose asked. “Waste your life on a fool’s journey, under a silly girl’s orders?” 
“I have never considered saving your life to be the same as wasting mine, Rosary.” He came and stood in front of her, the ease of his presence replaced by an unusual heat rather than familiar warmth. Rose had never before been bothered by the six inches he stood taller than her, but all of a sudden the shadow of his strength imposed itself on her. 
The cursed beauty of the moonlight revealed the clarity and sharpness of his eyes as she gazed up at him. “What if you did waste your life though? What if?” 
“If I have wasted my life, I have wasted it on you. Willingly.” 

 For four years, Princess Aurora of Rhone—Rose to her friends—has searched the world for a way to break the curse placed on her by Magdalina, the wicked ruler of the fairies at war with her kingdom. Under the curse, Rose is doomed to die on her eighteenth birthday after pricking her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel. And time is running out.

 On the eve of her seventeenth birthday, Rose makes the journey home with her friends—Theo, a priest with a penchant for revenge; Mary, a young and talented fairy; and Ethan and Sophia, siblings with a troubled past–as pressure from her father, King Stefanos, leaves her with two equally unsatisfying options: Abdicate the throne, or get married.

 Enjoy this novella series retelling of the Sleeping Beauty, with new characters, new plot twists, and plenty of action and adventure. Perfect for teen and young adult historical fantasy readers.

 Once Upon A Princess Saga

The series is four books: Beauty’s Curse, Beauty’s quest, Beauty’s Gift, and Beauty’s Kiss.

Want to participate in a treasure hunt?

 At the end of each book in this series is a special collectible clue. Collect all four books, and get all four special prizes, FREE!

***

To help celebrate the completion of her series, I asked C.S. Johnson some FANtastic questions:

Me: The Once Upon a Princess series is called a Historical Fantasy retelling of Sleeping Beauty. Can you define Historical Fantasy for us? What makes this version Historical?

 C.S: I tell people that this fairytale is set in between the historical European historical world with a few imaginary kingdoms thrown in. I have Greece and the Romani nations, and I have plenty of other references to history (Aragon, Gaul, etc.) but Rhone, Rose’s kingdom, is made up, and so are a few of the others. So you still have the socio-economic barriers of the Middle Ages, but you also have a mishmash of magical creatures, different species, and supernatural creatures. There are also issues with religion, politics, and social concerns just like there would be in real life. 

 If I had to put it on a map, I like to think it’s the part of land between Ireland and England the rest of Europe that’s now underwater. I think it’s a great way for all the fairy kingdoms and the pixies to hide their homes.

 Me: Good definition. Beauty’s Curse did have a very historical feel to it. And I like that idea of the faerie realm being underwater.

 How many versions of Sleeping Beauty did you research before deciding on how you wanted to tell your own story? Was there one you feel inspired you more than the others?

 C.S: I feel bad about this one, because I really only researched the Grimm fairy tale and the Disney version, and of course, the slap-dash post-modern nightmare that Disney made with Maleficent a few years ago. I hate things from all of them, to be honest. I especially hated how the princess is more or less at the mercy of other people’s choices from the very beginning. I don’t think any teenager princess would be willing to take that, no matter how charming and graceful and beautiful she is. 

 Me: Never feel bad for watching Disney movies. While we are on the subject of movies . . .

  If your series were made into a movie tomorrow, do you have a dream cast ready to give the director?

 C.S: I don’t really have a dream cast. I’m in love with my imagination, and I tend to live there for my entertainment needs more than I do here. 

 Me: Okay, I will let the director know, you prefer to use unknown actors. ;-D

 Your series features Fairies and magic, but it also has priests and Christians and scripture. How did you reconcile using these two seemingly different forces (God and magic) in the same story?

 C.S: This is a fairly consistent stance I have when it comes to faith. It says in the Bible that man is different from the Stars and Angels, and Jesus was unique in that he made himself like humans rather than the others. Angels have supernatural abilities and jobs, so I don’t see anything wrong with including angels, like Amalia, in my stories. I actually used the premise about the Stars for my fallen star superheroes in The Starlight Chronicles. It says in the Bible that humans are not meant to play with sorcery or consult with witches, and I really take this to mean that we, as humans, are not meant to play with or try to use magic. But for other creatures, especially magic and (so far as I know) imaginary ones?  I would see their magic as an innate trait, as Mary says, and like any ability, it would have limitations and rules placed on them by God and reinforced by their consciences. Of course, they would be fallen creatures, as we are, and they live in a fallen world, as we do, so they would have mostly-good and mostly-bad characters, same as humans do, because we are capable of both. I don’t see the two forces as competing forces, in the end; for me, God would have had to have designed them and granted them that free will and ability.  

 Me: I love that answer. And I have always been fascinated with the idea of stars as beings, more than just superheated balls of burning gas.

 Beauty’s Curse makes reference to at least one other classic fairy tale. If you could live the life of a Fairy Tale Princess, which one would you pick?

 C.S: If I could pick one, it would probably be “Beauty & the Beast.” I love love-hate stories. They’re really so good because they have a better understanding that people are at odds with other people, and when people come together, they become better people. I’m a very strong believer that love makes you a better person, even if it’s painful. Especially if it’s painful.

  Me: The perfect answer. I also adore all things Beauty and the Beast. Which begs a question. . .

 Now that Rose’s story is finished, are you planning on tackling any other fairy tales?

 C.S: I like fairy tales, I really do. I like the simple truth of their stories. I like that good and evil are brought out into more obvious terms, and I like that there is a lot of hope and redemption through courage and honor. But I don’t think I’d like to rewrite any other specific ones. Writing this one started out on a half-dare, from my students in my English class, when I explained how much I didn’t like Sleeping Beauty that much as a story. 

 I will say I’m still going to write them, but I like to borrow different elements from them and try to come up with my own scenarios. For example, Eydis: The Island of the Dragon Bride, is my latest novella, and it borrows things from the Atlantis myth, dragon myths, the traditional ‘damsel-princess-in-distress’ trope, and parts of Icelandic and Bermuda folklore. Ultimately, I like to ask my audience difficult questions—about faith, about life, about reality and how we can really know things—and I find fantasy and fairy tales are very lulling ways to do this without getting people angry (or angrier, in some cases.)

 Me: I love that you want to write original stories. Rose’s story was definitely the most original retelling of sleeping beauty I have ever read. Thank you for taking the time to share with my readers about your series.

 ***

CS Johnson             About the Author

C. S. Johnson is the author of several young adult novels, including sci-fi and fantasy adventures such as the Starlight Chronicles series, the Once Upon a Princess saga, and the Divine Space Pirates trilogy. With a gift for sarcasm and an apologetic heart, she currently lives in Atlanta with her family. Find out more at http://www.csjohnson.me.

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Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, September 25th

Book Spotlight – The Twirling Book Princess

 Tuesday, September 26th

– Book Spotlight – Michaela Mills

 Wednesday, September 27th

– FANtastic Interview –You are here

 Thursday, September 28th

– Book Review – Amanda’s Books and More

 Friday, September 29th

– Author Interview – Aconite Cafe

 Saturday, September 30th

– Book Review – Rachel Poli – I read. I write. I create.

Author Interview – Official Blog of Shannon A. Hiner

 Monday, October 2nd

– Author Interview – Liv K. Fisher

– Review – Mom with a Reading Problem

 Tuesday, October 3rd

– Review – Zernia Blossom’s Books

 Wednesday, October 4th

Book Review – A Book A Day

– Review – Zernia Blossom’s Books

– Author Interview – So Few Books

 Thursday, October 5th

Book Review – True YA Book Blogger

 Friday, October 6th

– Author Interview – Lands Uncharted

Book Spotlight – Rachel Lopez

Once Upon A Princess FB Party Banner – FACEBOOK PARTY – 8:30PM EST

 Saturday, October 7th

– Book Review – Rachel Poli – I read. I write. I create.

– Book Review – Official Blog of Shannon A. Hiner

 Monday, October 9th

– Wrap-Up Post – Unicorn Quester

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